Tag Archives: North Carolina

Best hikes in the Smokies: 10 epic Great Smoky Mountains hikes in NC

Sunrise from Icewater Springs Shelter near the Trillium Gap and Appalachian Trails

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the best hiking destinations in the U.S. Straddling the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, the park covers nearly 200,000 acres of forest and ridgeline in the Appalachian Mountains. It’s the most biodiverse national park in the country. Most lists of the best hikes in the Smokies […]

The BEST waterfalls near Asheville NC: 20 Asheville waterfall hikes

Upper Moore Cove Falls is one of the harder Asheville waterfall hikes.

The Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina are often called the “land of waterfalls.” This area has one of the highest concentrations of waterfalls anywhere in the U.S. — over 500 and counting. You’ll find swimming holes, huge drops, rock slides, and every other variation of cascade among the waterfalls near Asheville. There’s nothing better […]

Asheville winter hikes: 10 AMAZING winter hiking trails near Asheville, NC

Snooks Nose is one of the best winter hikes near Asheville NC

Western North Carolina is a fabulous winter destination. The weather is mild, but you only have to drive a short ways to be in a snowy winter wonderland. And just because the temperature drops doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors — there are many beautiful Asheville winter hikes to keep you active. As a […]

Dupont State Forest Waterfalls and Hiking Trails: A Local’s Guide

Triple Falls is one of the most beautiful Dupont State Forest waterfalls in North Carolina.

Do you love chasing waterfalls? I sure do. I’ve been known to bushwhack down steep, muddy slopes for a good view of even the smallest trickle of water pouring over rocks. But no falls in the Carolina mountains can compete with the beauty and diversity of the Dupont State Forest waterfalls. Dupont State Forest in […]

Solo Backpacking Tips for Women: Planning a safe backpacking trip alone

These tips for solo female backpackers will prepare you for any trail

You’ve got all the gear. You’ve planned the perfect route and trained for weeks to get in shape. You’re all ready for your first backpacking trip. The only problem? You have no one to go with. It’s time to arm yourself with some essential solo backpacking tips so you can hit the trail all on […]

How to hike the Bearwallow Mountain Trail near Asheville, NC

View from Bearwallow Mountain NC

The Bearwallow Mountain Trail is a local favorite hike near Asheville, NC. It sits on the Eastern Continental Divide. The grassy meadow at the top offers views from South Carolina all the way to Mount Mitchell. Plus, it’s an easy hike and only 2 miles long — and it’s accessible year-round! Bearwallow Mountain makes a […]

Craggy Pinnacle Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway: Easy Asheville hike

The Craggy Pinnacle Hiking Trail is one of the best sunset spots near Asheville.

Sweeping mountain vistas, bright colors, craggy peaks, and vibrant wildflowers — what more could you ask for from a one-mile hike? The Craggy Pinnacle Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just 45 minutes north of Asheville, has it all. This is one of the most beloved hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s accessible to […]

Cold Weather Hiking Tips for People Who Hate Winter

Me in my typical winter hiking outfit -- shell jacket and waterproof pants.

When the days get shorter and the temperature drops, it can be temping to hide inside. Curling up with a hot cup of coffee and a warm blanket in front of a fireplace seems much more appealing than freezing your tail off to go outside and explore. But when the cabin fever sets in, winter […]

Carvers Gap to 19E: The BEST hike on the Appalachian Trail in NC

The hike from Carvers Gap to Overmountain Shelter crosses a number of grassy balds.

Grassy balds with panoramic mountain vistas. “Smoky” fog rolling through the gaps. Untouched pine forests. 6,000-foot peaks. The Roan Highlands, on the NC/TN border, are more reminiscent of the Rockies than Appalachia. The best way to explore this region is on a two-day Appalachian Trail hike from Carvers Gap to 19E Highway. This is a […]

Best Coffee Shops in Asheville: 11 Asheville Coffee Shops You Can’t Miss

Asheville's coffee scene features some of the best roasters in the Carolinas.

Is there anything better than wrapping your hands around a hot cup of coffee on a chilly morning in the mountains? I certainly don’t think so! And the best coffee shops in Asheville, NC don’t disappoint. Asheville’s cafes feature single-origin beans, creative latte art, friendly baristas, a community vibe, fast WiFi, and cozy seating. They’re […]